# 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hazard

**HAZARD** (O. Fr. *hazard*, from Span. *azar*, unlucky throw at
dice, misfortune, from Arab, *al*, and *zar*, dice), a game of dice
(called Craps in America), once very popular in England and
played for large stakes at the famous rooms of Crockford (St
James’s Street, London) and Almack (Pall Mall, London). The
player or “caster” calls a “main” (that is, any number from
five to nine inclusive). He then throws with two dice. If he
“throws in,” or “nicks,” he wins the sum played for from the
banker or “setter.” Five is a nick to five, six and twelve are
nicks to six, seven and eleven to seven, eight and twelve to eight
and nine to nine. If the caster “throws out” by throwing
aces, or deuce-ace (called crabs or craps), he loses. When the
main is five or nine the caster throws out with 11 or 12; when
the main is six or eight he throws out with 11; when the main
is seven he throws out with 12. If the caster neither nicks nor
throws out, the number thrown is his “chance,” and he keeps
on throwing till either the chance comes up, when he wins, or
till the main comes up, when he loses. When a chance is thrown
the “odds” for or against the chance are laid by the setter to
the amount of the original stake. Seven is the best main for
the caster to call, as it can be thrown in six different ways out
of the thirty-six casts which are possible with dice. Supposing
seven to be the main; then the caster wins if he throws 7 or
11; he loses if he throws crabs or 12. If he throws any other
number, 4 for example, that is his chance. The odds against
him are two to one, as 7 can be thrown in six ways, but 4 only
in three; hence six to three, or two to one, are the correct odds,
and if the original stake was £1, the setter now lays £2 to £1 in
addition. It is useful to remember that 2 and 12 can be thrown
in one way; 3 and 11 in two ways; 4 and 10 in three ways;
5 and 9 in four ways; 6 and 8 in five ways. The odds against
the caster are thus given by Hoyle: If 7 is the main and 4
the chance, two to one; 6 and 4, five to three; 5 and 4, four
to three; 7 and 9, three to two; 7 and 6, six and five; 7 and 5,
three to two; 6 and 5, five to four; 8 and 5, five to four, &c.